Fourth International Interdisciplinary Biennial Conference - Department of English Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA) - Theme: Boundaries - Date: 2 – 6 September 2018 - Venue: Valley Lodge and Spa (South Africa)
Boundaries can literally be defined as limits, limiting factors, borders or barriers. The term connotes the idea of restriction in both a physical and ideological sense. In social and cultural discourses, the idea of boundaries can be understood as a metaphysical notion to describe various ideas which are the foundations of all forms of discrimination and prejudice based on issues such as patriarchy, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, religious affiliation and other forms of classification. Examples of such conceptions of boundaries in colonial, postcolonial, poststructuralist and postmodern discourses include the practices of stereotyping or othering.
In literary, cultural and other disciplines located in the humanities, the task of scholars is usually to deconstruct such boundaries. Hence, we engage in scholarly projects which engender notions of rising above boundaries, breaking boundaries, transgressing boundaries and transcending boundaries. In this case, we challenge fixed ideas of cultural, ethnic and national limits, whereby ideas of transnationality and globalisation become prominent. We take to task socially constructed boundaries around gender, race and sexuality, unravelling the manifold ways in which entrenched behaviour both influences our perceptions of difference and constructs new barriers to difference.
Knowledge production in these fields continues to challenge our critical consciousness as we move deeper into the 21st century. At the same time, it is important that we also consider engaging in discussions around the idea of boundaries as symptomatic of containment, stability and order. In English language studies, one can talk of boundaries in relation to language learning. Rules of grammar continue to inform how we teach language, especially in a multilingual context such as South Africa. Effective teaching and learning often involve identifying barriers to achieving proficiency in English or any other second language. Similarly, different approaches to teaching or learning English can expose particular types of boundaries in methodologies. In disciplines such as political science and law, the idea of boundaries is not antithetical to notions of stability and order. Throughout the humanities, social sciences and even natural sciences, the concept of boundaries presents limitless possibilities for scholarly engagement.
Following its previous successful conferences on “Time” (2016), “Home” (2014) and “Memory” (2012), the Department of English Studies at UNISA now presents “Boundaries” as the theme of the 2018 International Interdisciplinary Biennial Conference. The conference will investigate this dynamic subject from the perspectives of literature and language, as well as related disciplines in the humanities and beyond. The theme of “Boundaries” is taken broadly to include as many perspectives as possible, whilst providing a focused environment for discussion. Also of interest is the exploration of the ‘middle ground’ between diametrically opposed concepts, places, ideas, arguments, people or peoples, time periods, and institutions, as well as the circumstances in which these dichotomies should be challenged. To this end, we hereby invite submissions related, but not
limited, to the following sub-themes:
Geographies, Localities and Borders
Metaphysical and Ideological Boundaries
Crossing Borders in Gender and Sexuality
Space, Liminality and Transgression
Time, Memory and Home
Migration and Diaspora
Transnationality and Globalisation
Genocide, War and Ethnic Conflicts
Voice and Agency
Human/Nature Binary and the Ecocritical Project
Otherness, Othering and Postcolonial Criticism
Social Media and Alternative Facts
Rules in English Language Teaching and Learning
Translanguaging, Code-switching and Code-mixing
Human and Animal Rights
Private and Intellectual Property Legislature
SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS AND DEADLINE
We welcome individual abstracts addressing any topic relevant to the conference theme. We also invite panel proposals from a diversity of relevant fields such as anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, classics, criminology, cultural studies, education, economy and management studies, environmental sciences, film studies, gender studies, geography, history and historiography, law, language, literature, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, psychology, theology, and visual arts.
All paper and panel presentations will be in English.
Please submit an abstract of 200 to 250 words, with your name and affiliation, to the conference
organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for abstract submission is 28 February 2018. In order to facilitate bookings, early submissions would be greatly appreciated.
All submissions will be acknowledged and acceptance of abstracts will be communicated by the 31 March 2018.
The conference will be held at Valley Lodge and Spa in the Magaliesberg region, South Africa. Taking cognisance of the fact that September is Heritage month for South Africa, the venue epitomises the African heritage and reflects an appropriate ambience and décor for scholarly deliberations on the theme of boundaries.
REGISTRATION INFORMATION, INCLUDING TIMELINE AND FEES, WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE REGISTRATION FORM TO BE SENT OUT ALONG WITH ACCEPTANCE LETTERS.
The Department of English Studies at UNISA looks forward to welcoming colleagues from all over the world to a celebration of knowledge in a stimulating heritage site. Please feel free to contact us at any time should you require more information.
The Organising Committee
Geographies, Localities and Borders Metaphysical and Ideological Boundaries Crossing Borders in Gender and Sexuality Space, Liminality and Transgression Scientific Breakthroughs
Time, Memory and Home Migration and Diaspora Transnationality and Globalisation Genocide, War and Ethnic Conflicts